Allen may start instead of injured Thomas

Rookie Anthony Thomas, who has emerged as the Chicago Bears' top running back this season, may miss Sunday's NFC Central clash against the Minnesota Vikings.

Thomas, who has 638 rushing yards and four touchdowns, has been downgraded to doubtful for Sunday's game with a strained right hamstring.

James Allen, a 1,000-yard rusher last season who lost his job to Thomas, likely would start if Thomas is inactive for Sunday's game.

This is a crucial game for both teams. The Bears (7-2) need the victory to stay ahead of the Packers in the Central, and the Vikings (4-5) need the win simply to stay in the hunt for a playoff spot.